Using 4k video for small-venue folk and bluegrass photography...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Fishrrman, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Hello all ...

    I'm just another amateur. One of my photographic interests is photographing traditional and bluegrass music onstage at small venues, usually outdoor festivals.

    This is a world apart from big-name rock concert photography -- a totally different environment. This kind of music is generally done outdoors, under natural lighting (during the day), and relatively basic stage lighting after dark. Crowds are quite calm and reserved, not boisterous or rowdy (as at your typical rock show or bar).

    I've been using a SONY a58 (APS-c) and a Tamron 70-300 (but the lens is designed for full-frame, so the actual focal length is multiplied a bit... up to about the equivalent of 450mm or so).

    One problem I've encountered -- going all the way back to the 70's with film-based SLR's -- was that it's difficult when photographing performers to "catch them" at their most complimentary moment. Even shooting at several frames per second, it's an iffy proposition to get a shot that I really like. By a "shot that I really like", I mean one that the musician would feel is most complimentary to him or her. As anyone who's done this kind of shooting knows, it's all-to-easy to catch a singer in an UNflattering moment, facial-wise, etc. You can end up throwing many (or most) of the images out, even if they are otherwise technically good.

    With the advent of 4k video, I've been thinking of getting a camera that has 4k capability, and subsequently changing the entire paradigm of how I take pics at a show.

    Instead of taking individual shots (or short bursts of shots), I believe I could get results that are as good or better by recording, say, 30 seconds or a minute of video @4k. I could then review these clips frame-by-frame and cull the best stills from them. Even if I only saved one frame from 100, it might actually work better.

    I'm wondering if there's anyone reading that has actually tried 4k-to-stills like this?

    Which cameras are the best at it?

    Thanks for reading this far!
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I've heard you can do this with an 8k camera, but I'm not sure how sharp a still would look with this method.
    Plus the editing process would take forever.
    I'd have though with a burst mode you should be fine.
    Maybe post an example or two to show what the problem is.
  3. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    The Canon 5D Mark IV is heralded as being able to do this. As is the Panasonic GH4.
  4. Padaung macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2007
    Ha, you beat me to saying exactly this!

    The 5D IV has a viewing/playback mode which allows you to select the frame you want to save as a still too, and then saves it in camera as a jpeg.

    The one main downside is that you can't shoot raw like this. But I believe you can shoot using a flat video profile which would then give you the most leeway when post-processing the jpegs to fit your particular style.
  5. Fishrrman thread starter macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Thanks for the replies above.

    As I said, I'm only an amateur/hobbyist. Something like the 5D with a long lens (at least 300mm) is getting a little "spendy" for me.

    I'm actually thinking about giving the relatively new SONY Rx10 III a try.
    Granted, it's only a "bridge" camera, but a good one.
    The combination of Zeiss glass, a long zoom, and excellent 4k look like they'd work...

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4 September 15, 2016